I broke my leg… i mean I ripped my pants

“What happened to you?” classmate
“I broke my leg” me
“What?!” classmate
“I broke my leg, see” me limping along stiffly as possible
“Hey, Carl look… Young says she broke her leg” classmate
A curious kid comes over lifting his glasses to make sure that my leg is, actually broken.
“Ahhh, I don’t think so, prove it” Carl
“see, it hurts so bad.” me lifting my leg, like a bag of bricks
“if you really broke your leg, you would be crying, you didn’t break your leg!” classmate

Moments later bored the boys finally left me to tend to my leg; I kept limping around the playground tightening my sweater of a bandage. Making sure that the rip in my pants was not exposed to anyone’s eyes, making sure I keep up appearance. Then no one would question my broken leg or my ripped pant leg.

Earlier that day I was running around after lunch, and all of a sudden I saw something that caught my eye on the floor. So like an old Korean man, I decided to crouch down to take a good look, when- rip! No joke two seconds flat, the inner lining of my amber colored corduroy split. I felt paralyzed, not knowing what to do I stood there, I wanted to cry and go home. But how with these stupid pants all ripped up everyone would laugh.
A scenario kept playing inside my head, my parents asking how my pants ripped, thinking for a moment then inevitably one of them squeezing my belly while nodding their heads side to side. As if anyone had to say why, and how the pants ripped. Poor chubby thighs, I’ll take good care of you, I thought.
After, my pants ripped, after the interrogation, after the imagined ridicule and lastly the self-pity a white knight came to my rescue. The beautiful nurse walked me over to her office. It was my first experience going into this fascinating place, where a kid can sit and rest, from bullies, sickness, or even imagined broken leg. The nurses will comfort you and ask how you’re doing and if you’re lucky they’ll let you sit there till your pride mends itself. When I ripped my pants in fourth grade, it was a big deal, because I understood it. When you’re a baby or a geriatric its expected nobody cares, if I saw a toddler or old grandpa rip their pants, I’d take a good hard look then shrug to myself, no harm no foul. But when a fourth grader rips her pants the whole world stops even if you didn’t break your legs.

Saddest Boy I ever knew

When I was a child, I played a game with myself, it was not so much a game and more like a pity party – for others. I’d stand in the center of the playground looking at each kid, stare at them for a long time, and tell myself how sad it must be, to be them. Evan Kwan (not his real name) was one of those “sad pathetic souls” lost in the world of tetherball and foursquare. I had no clue as to why I thought this way, Evan actually had friends, not like myself and he fashioned a smile most days.


To believe that this poor sap was putting on a brave face for the whole school, showing them that Evan Kwan of Meadows Elementary School was happy and well adjusted. But he didn’t fool me; I knew deep down inside he was sad- tormented even. My goal, no my dream was to convince him to be buddies with me and be less sad together. Conquering the whole playground with our force, of course using our melancholy powers for only good, never bad. 

Evan was a sweet looking kid with large doe-eyes, you know the kind, lost in headlights kind of eyes. They were magical, I could get lost in them for days, aways a bit watery, never ending of the droplet of tears, glistening from any angle you look. It’s not that I was in love with him, but there was a constant sadness I felt for him. Some days I’d sit in the cafeteria and imagine why he was possibly sad, is it his family, a girl he likes or the fact that it’s pizza day again. It sure was disappointing to have a pizza day; I know because I hated cheese at the time.

One day I got the nerve to sit next to him, I’m not sure if it was the fish stick or the chocolate milk that gave me the guts to go to him. He seemed like he was having a “fun” time with his buddies, but I knew he was sad inside, and I truly wanted to fix it. So I asked how he was doing, “fine” he replied so breezily, but I persisted. “No, no… how are you really?”

He looked at me a little dumbfound, shrugged and said: “Okay… but the lunch lady ran out of chocolate milk right before my turn, but otherwise good.” He got up, to bus his try and left, I sat there for a bit thinking wow this guy is the bravest boy I ever knew.